ARIZONA: White of The Eye

“Calling ‘White Of The Eye’ a thriller is rather like saying that Van Gogh’s ‘The Potato Eaters’ is a painting. Both descriptions are unquestionably correct and immeasurably insufficient.” — Leonard Klady, Los Angeles Times

Donald Cammell: the English artist who wowed, zowed and plowed unsuspecting audiences in the ‘70s with Performance (the psychedelic noir with Mick Jagger) and Demon Seed (the sci-fi headtrip with Julie Christie impregnated by an evil computer.) Vastly underseen in comparison to these excursions into emotional outer space is this fractured, desert-bound serial killer saga — Cammell’s only produced Eighties effort — starring David Keith and Cathy Moriarty. Launching headfirst into startling territory with its Blade Runner-meets-Psycho opening kill, White of the Eye defies expectations with each passing scene, and sometimes genres with each passing second, all while Cammell wrings beatific tension out of the enigmatic Arizona landscape. Through its non-stop roving Steadicam, its highly quirky supporting cast, and the unconventional choice of the final product’s performance takes (which give off the feel of unrehearsed spontaneity, even though the film is meticulously planned), White of the Eye lingers in the memory waaaay long after you think it will; fans of last year’s Video Nasties doozy The Witch Who Came From The Sea will know what we’re talking about here.
Dir. Donald Cammell, 1987, 35mm, 110 min.